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Gidman targets 1,200 runs in 2014

Ahead of the release of the 2014 season fixtures at 9.30am tomorrow, Gloucestershire batsman Alex Gidman has revealed his ambitions for the next campaign.

Tomorrow, all the counties will discover when they will play each match throughout the new-look county game.

Next year sees the introduction of the Royal London One-Day Cup, that will mean the counties playing 50-over cricket, and more Twenty20 games will take place on Friday evenings.

But it is in the LV= County Championship - which retains its usual format - that Gidman has made his targets for next year.

In the 2013 campaign the Gloucestershire batsman compiled 1,125 runs at 51.13 but, while that was a satisfying return, he is hoping for at least 75 more next time round.

Alex Gidman believes a really good campaign for a batsman is scoring 1,200 runs; he fell just 75 short in 2013 for GloucestershireHe told ecb.co.uk: “If you have a good summer with the weather and you stay fit and you play all the games - if not say 14 or 15 - as a top-class batsman you should get to 1,000 runs.

“I don't think 1,000 runs is an amazing year. I think 1,200 runs becomes a really, really good cricket season.

“As a batsman I'm always disappointed if I don't reach 1,000, but I think 1,000 runs is a good year whereas I think 1,200 becomes a really, really good year. I think a bowler should take 50 wickets and I think a bowler's amazingly good season is getting up to 65-plus.

“Those are the kind of standards I would expect myself to hit. It's obviously challenging and very hard to get there all the time, but that's exactly what goals should be.

“They should be hard to reach, but reachable, and those kind of ambitions are reachable for me every year, but obviously it's not always very easy.”

Gidman's impressive performances in 2013 came after he gave up the the role of captain at the end of the preceding year.

The 32-year-old had led the county since 2009, following Jon Lewis' decision to step down, but he is not sure as to how much of a factor his strong form this year had to do with stepping aside.

“It's really tricky to say,” he said. “Naturally you'd say that giving up the captaincy allowed me the time to focus on my own game and it certainly did. So it obviously had a part to play in it, but to what extent I'm not totally sure.

“I found a formula, which I kept very simple, and I found a pre-game routine which really helped. I kept consistent and I repeated and repeated.

“I think the hardest thing about cricket in my opinion is the temptation to try and fix things quickly. You feel a little out of form so you try to change something to find form.

“Quite often that spirals into longer periods of poor form. I think what I did for the first time last year was trust my technique, doing the same practice routines and trust that they would come through.

“But thankfully they did. There's obviously times when you do have to change things. I was in those positions last year but, like I say, I could just stick with the same things, trusting or hoping that they would take care of themselves.”

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